Seed Saving: Lion’s Tail

February 28, 2009 at 10:59 pm 4 comments

Watch out for the spikes!

Watch out for the spikes!

Lion’s Tail, (aka Leonotis Leonurus and Wild Dagga) are one of my favorite flowers, and they are really easy to grow—it’s  saving their seeds that’s the hard part. These exotic African plants are known for their fuzzy orange flowers that hide the spikey ball-shaped thorns that can really hurt if you aren’t paying attention. So, you can imagine what getting seeds from these suckers is like, but I’ve developed a no-fail system: 

Dried Lion's Tail FlowersFirst step: Dry the flowers throughly (I  put them in a paper bag for a few months)

lionstailcanThen: Get a can and put the flower upside in it. Rattle the flower head against the can and listen for seeds to come out. The seeds are tiny, so check to make sure you’d gotten some.

Here’s what the seeds looks like:

lionstailseeds

 

Planting: Now’s the time to start seeds. They grow pretty fast, and are super easy to propogate by cutting. Just plant in full sun, wherever you want an exotic, 15 foot plant to grow (makes a great privacy fence). Used to hot, dry climates, these guys don’t require much water and are pretty independent. They start flowering in late July/August through frost, and branch out about 2 feet each. Hummingbirds love them, and they work well as a backdrop of flower beds.

Bonus: Besides being the most exotic looking flower you’ll grow this year, Lion’s Tail offers medicinal properties as well (they don’t call it Wild Dagga for nothing). Dry the leaves and flowers to make a calming tea (I like to brew it with a sweeter tea to cut the bitter taste). Definitely good to help get through the depths of winter.

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Entry filed under: seed saving, seed starting, seeds, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Boomerang Spongecake  |  March 3, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Wild Dagga is pretty magnificent.
    Can you use it as a hedge?

  • 2. growindie  |  March 4, 2009 at 3:11 am

    Definitely, but it takes until July/August to reach hedge size. Then, in August/September, they get massive. I planted 4 last year and it created about a 12 foot hedge. They get pretty big (up to 15 ft high and about 3 or 4 feet branched out).They aren’t perennials in Zone 6 here, so I have to replant every year, but if you leave them up in winter, they will still provide some coverage, with dry brown spiky plants that look a little like thistle…

  • 3. Christina  |  April 6, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Pretty, but they’re already turning up in wild areas of Florida as an invasive species. Plant natives and keep wild areas safe!!!

  • 4. Brent  |  November 23, 2009 at 2:28 am

    how is the tea made

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